In Their Own Words: Ohio Candidates for Governor, Mike DeWine and Nan Whaley

DeWine and Whaley suggest why voters should choose them.

click to enlarge Ohio candidates for governor, Mike DeWine (left) and Nan Whaley - Photo: Mike DeWine provided by campaign website; Nan Whaley provided by candidate
Photo: Mike DeWine provided by campaign website; Nan Whaley provided by candidate
Ohio candidates for governor, Mike DeWine (left) and Nan Whaley

Editor's note: This story is featured in the Nov. 2 print edition of CityBeat.

In October, CityBeat sent questions to pairs of candidates in several key local and state elections.

Candidates in each race received the same series of questions, the same instructions for completing and returning their answers, and the same deadlines for publication. CityBeat began with known campaign or employment email addresses and followed up with private social media messages, phone calls and/or texts, depending on what was available.

Responses from the candidates are below and are in their own words (answers may have been lightly condensed for space). Not all candidates replied to CityBeat’s requests.

Mike DeWine, a Republican, has been Ohio’s governor since January 2019. His reelection is being challenged by Nan Whaley, a Democrat who is the former mayor of Dayton.

Mike DeWine - mikedewine.com

What is the foremost issue affecting Ohio?
My goal is to transform Ohio into a state that identifies and treats mental health problems and addiction at their earliest onset to lessen the chances of life-long challenges. I am proud of the work we have started with the Ohio General Assembly. We are helping struggling families get better access to addiction and mental health treatment to help children and adults live up to their full potential.

What role should parents and communities play in the planning of public school curricula?
I believe every parent should have the right to decide what is best for his or her child’s education. Education is a great equalizer. It provides children with the opportunity to grow and learn so that they can achieve their version of the American Dream — whatever that might be. I am working to ensure that every child has access to a good education and will work hand-in-hand with teachers, parents and school leaders.

What is the best way to integrate renewable energy into Ohio’s job market?
Ohio is blessed with an abundance of natural resources to produce sustainable sources of energy — from natural gas to renewables. My administration has embraced an all-of-the-above energy strategy to ensure reliable, affordable energy is available to all Ohioans. I signed Senate Bill 52, which provides county commissioners and other local elected officials with greater oversight of renewable power generation within their communities.

What do you believe is the state’s role in individual healthcare decisions and access?
We have made major progress in expanding access to healthcare, but we must grow our behavioral health workforce, increase research and innovation, and build a community capacity for care that offers better crisis response services and treatment and increased prevention efforts. We are working with the Ohio General Assembly to make significant investments across the state. The limited role of government should ensure safety and protect every patient’s most fundamental care.

What is the first item on your to-do list if you were to take office?
Ohio is a great state, but there remain gaps in access to opportunity for too many, especially children. We must remove barriers to success. We’re investing in people and places so that everyone, wherever they live in Ohio, can get a good paying job and have access to the resources they need to succeed. We are making significant investments to create vibrant Ohio communities, whether that be through water and sewer funding and H20hio, gaining better access to mental health services, closing the digital divide through Broadband Ohio, or investing in grants to help revitalize Appalachia.

Nan Whaley - nanwhaley.com

What is the foremost issue affecting Ohio?
Ohio has always been a place for opportunity and ingenuity, but under decades of one-party rule and rampant corruption, we’ve lost our way. For too long, our state government has been looking out for donors and special interests — not Ohio families. The only way we fix this is with fresh leadership. As governor, I’ll fight for your pay to go up, your bills to go down and for your state government to finally work for you. That’s how we make Ohio a place where every family can thrive and where people come for opportunity.

What role should parents and communities play in the planning of public school curricula?
Every Ohioan deserves and needs a good quality education, but for too long this hasn’t been the case. Years of Republican cuts to education spending has left us with a situation where local communities have to raise taxes to pay for better schools. It’s the responsibility of the state to provide a quality public education in all communities regardless of their income. As governor, I’d make that a priority. At the same time, local leaders and parents know what’s best for their communities.

What is the best way to integrate renewable energy into Ohio’s job market?
As governor I’ll clean up the corruption of the DeWine Administration and fully repeal the awful HB6 that gutted Ohio’s renewable energy industry. It’s time our state finally prioritizes protecting our environment and supporting clean energy. Ohio has always been a leader in new technology and my energy and environmental plan will ensure that Ohio once again leads the nation in building the future by investing in the renewable energy industry.

What do you believe is the state’s role in individual healthcare decisions and access?
Unlike Governor DeWine’s government mandates regarding abortion, I believe that these personal healthcare decisions should be left to a woman and her doctor. We are already seeing the awful impact of Mike DeWine’s abortion ban. As I travel around the state, I’ve talked to nurses and doctors who have been forced to consult their lawyers before giving their patients the care they need thanks to ambiguity in the law. This is unacceptable and dangerous.

What is the first item on your to-do list if you were to take office?
As governor, I’ll support and help pass a ballot initiative to codify Roe v. Wade in the Ohio Constitution. This is a critical time for reproductive rights in Ohio. We know that Governor DeWine wants to “go as far as [he] can” in prohibiting abortion. We must fight against these invasions of privacy and for abortion access [for] Ohio women.

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